How to Improve your Finances in 2019

Jennifer Jurek Certified Financial Planner™
It’s time to ring in the new year and as the saying goes “new year, new you”! The beginning of a new year is the most popular time to get refocused and set goals to better your lifestyle. Creating resolutions are quite common among the topics of eating healthy, exercising and even financial planning. However, did you know that only 9% of resolutions are followed through? The main reason for the lack of success is due to not setting specific enough goals and not seeing immediate results. But that’s why you have Sgroi Financial here to help you and keep you on the path to reaching your financial goals. Here are a couple ideas to help get you started with your financial resolutions.

Start with a Plan

In order to accomplish your financial goals, you need to first identify what they are. By creating a clear, concise list, you will be more likely to see success. A goal is best when it is specific and measurable. It isn’t good enough to say “I want more money in my savings account this year.” Instead put in writing that you want to increase your savings account from $2,000 to $10,000 by the end of the year. Then break the goal down into smaller pieces into either a weekly or monthly amount that you need to save to reach your goal. Next be sure to track your progress. This will allow you to stay invested in your goals and identify any tweaks needed in your habits to stay on track.

Save More, Consistently

The most common new year’s resolution is “I want to save more money.” But let’s get specific in just how much you should be saving for retirement. The golden rule is 15% of your gross income. So if you’re making $50,000 a year you should be saving $7,500 towards retirement. That 15% can be spread across pre-tax accounts, such as a 401(k), or after-tax accounts like a Roth IRA. If the 15% is too big of a number to save, it’s okay to start at a smaller number and work your way up to 15%. Try to increase your savings by 1% each year or every time you get a raise. However, if you’re working a job that offers a retirement match, we highly encourage you to invest enough to receive the full match amount. An additional tip to reaching your goals is to set up automatic monthly payments. This will get you in a good habit of investing without even have to think about it.

Pay down Debt

If you find yourself in constant debt and are always trying to keep your head above water, 2019 is your year to start chipping away at your debt. Setting a goal to get rid of all your debt at once maybe a lofty goal; so it is important to be specific about which debt you want to eliminate the most. We recommend the snowball effect which is focusing on eliminating the smallest debts first then working your way up to the largest. Paying off your debt is like climbing a mountain, it’s going to take time and strategy but the only way you’ll get to the top is to start climbing. As you eliminate your debt you want to also identify the bad habits that put you in trouble in the first place. This will keep you out of debt for the future.
If you’re serious about getting yourself on the right path in 2019, but need that extra guidance or push, call our office to set up an appointment. Also for more information on this topic, listen to my interview with Clay Moden on 106.5FM WYRK.
You can catch our weekly Plan.Protect.Invest. segment live on WYRK 106.5FM at 7:20am every Wednesday. Each week we will have a Sgroi Financial planner on with Clay Moden and the WYRK morning show to discuss financial topics to educate and help their listeners. Since 1971, Sgroi Financial has proudly served Buffalo, NY and the Western New York community from our West Seneca location.

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